When you’re in a serious relationship, you tend to share everything—or almost everything. While you may be totally cool with sharing food, a bathroom, and the rent, it’s understandable that you might feel less comfortable opening up about more personal stuff, like sexual fantasies.
But a new study published in The Journal of Sex Research suggests that being able to open up about your fantasies says a lot about the quality your relationship.
For the study, researchers asked people in long-term, mostly heterosexual relationships, lasting an average of 2.5 years, to answer questions online. The Qs explored the participants’ relationship stability, how well they communicated with their partners, how sexually satisfied they were, what sexual information they shared, and if they were willing to talk about things that their partners might find offensive
Here’s what scientists found:People who reported being sexually satisfied were more likely to say they had good communication in their relationship, were super satisfied with their relationship, and felt their bond was stable. They were also more likely to open up to their partners about their fantasies than people who felt less comfortable in their relationships. So, basically, talking about your fantasies is correlated with all of the things that make for a happy relationship (i.e. feeling good about your bond and being open).
The researchers wrote that their study emphasizes the importance of understanding why some people are more open to talking about their sexual desires versus others and how that can impact their sexual satisfaction.
It’s also worth noting that people were most nervous about bringing up their past sexual experiences, anal sex, and porn. However, people didn’t feel as weird about discussing what they like about sex, their individual preferences, and practicing safe sex—which are all good things to be open about.
The connection between being open about your fantasies and having a happy relationship makes sense on some level: If you don’t feel super secure in your relationship, you’re probably not going to open up to your S.O. about your fantasy of getting banged by your local grocery store checkout guy.
But if you feel like you’re in a secure relationship and you’re still not comfy sharing your fantasies, just know that it will probably go over way better than you think—and could bring you closer (in bed and out). Here’s a little inspo on how to be more open about your sexual interests.